SPRY4 as a Potential Mediator of the Anti-Tumoral Role of Macrophages in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Cells

Ana Teresa Pinto, Marta Pojo, Ricardo Rodrigues, Diana Pacheco Sousa, Rune Matthiesen, Ana Sofia Carvalho, Hans C. Beck, Carolina Pires, Rodrigo Eduardo, Joana Simões Pereira, Valeriano Leite, Branca Maria Cavaco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is the most lethal subtype of thyroid cancer, with high invasive and metastatic potential, not responding to conventional treatments. Its aggressiveness may be influenced by macrophages, which are abundant cells in the tumor microenvironment. To investigate the role of macrophages in ATC aggressiveness, indirect co-cultures were established between ATC cell lines and THP-1-derived macrophages. Macrophages significantly increased both the migration and invasion of T235 cells (p < 0.01; p < 0.01), contrasting with a decrease in C3948 (p < 0.001; p < 0.05), with mild effects in T238 migration (p < 0.01) and C643 invasion (p < 0.05). Flow cytometry showed upregulation of CD80 (pro-inflammatory, anti-tumoral) and downregulation of CD163 (anti-inflammatory, pro-tumoral) in macrophages from co-culture with T235 (p < 0.05) and C3948 (p < 0.05), respectively. Accordingly, we found an upregulation of secreted pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g., GM-CSF, IL-1α; p < 0.05) in C3948–macrophage co-cultures. Proteomic analysis showed the upregulation of SPRY4, an inhibitor of the MAPK pathway, in C3948 cells from co-culture. SPRY4 silencing promoted cancer cell invasion, reverting the reduced invasion of C3948 caused by macrophages. Our findings support that macrophages play a role in ATC cell aggressiveness. SPRY4 is a possible modulator of macrophage–ATC cell communication, with a tumor suppressor role relevant for therapeutic purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4387
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • anaplastic thyroid cancer
  • anti-tumoral
  • invasion
  • macrophages
  • migration
  • SPRY4


Dive into the research topics of 'SPRY4 as a Potential Mediator of the Anti-Tumoral Role of Macrophages in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this